In 2014, the Pittsburgh Pirates finished with an 88-74 record, which was their second best record since 1993. Pittsburgh’s faltered in late September and finished two games behind the St. Louis Cardinals in the National League Central. Pittsburgh hosted the San Francisco Giants in the Wild Card game, but were embarrassed, 8-0. San Francisco starter Madison Bumgarner threw a complete game, four-hitter and struck out ten Pirates. This was the first of many dominant performances for Bumgarner, who was in complete control for the duration of the playoffs.
Pittsburgh lost catcher Russell Martin in free agency, but returns the rest of its starters. Pittsburgh’s offense is led by center fielder Andrew McCutchen. McCutchen won the 2013 National League MVP award and has finished Top-3 in MVP voting in three consecutive seasons. Last season, McCutchen slugged 25 home runs, which was the second highest total of his career and posted a .410 on-base percentage, which was the best mark of his career. Fans are expecting outfielder, Starling Marte, to take another step forward in 2015. Over the last two seasons, Marte has hit at least .280, clubbed at least 12 home runs and stolen at least 30 bases. Expectations are high for the 26-year-old outfielder.
According to TicketIQ, the average price on the secondary market for Pirates Opening Day tickets is $166.33 while the get-in price is $40. Ticket prices for Opening Day 2015 are higher than the last four Opening Days.
The rise in ticket prices aligns directly with expectations for the 2015 Pittsburgh Pirates. Fans are expecting Pittsburgh to once again qualify for the playoffs. Pittsburgh has had trouble advancing beyond the Wildcard round, so expect them to be extra motivated. Pittsburgh will need several of its younger players, namely Marte and pitcher, Gerrit Cole to set-up and have big seasons. St. Louis continues to boast some of the best young talent in baseball, so Pittsburgh will need to keep pace. An Opening Day matchup against Justin Verlander and the Detroit Tigers will provide an early playoff vibe. Expect Pittsburgh to once again qualify for the playoffs and to put pressure on the St. Louis Cardinals in a race for the National League Central crown.